Real estate needs are as unique as the people who have them. Whether immediate or planning for the future, I work to present solutions that are based on each client's unique goals. Sometimes these can be difficult transitions such as divorce or death (probate, multiple heirs), or financial hardships (bankruptcy, foreclosure). Other times goals can stem from exciting milestones, such as a first home, marriage, growing family, downsizing, relocation, financial growth (building equity, investment, planning for retirement, estate planning, etc.), or several other reasons. I assist my clients in making informed decisions by being an expert resource who my clients can rely on throughout their life transitions. I realize that degree of trust is earned by utilizing discretion, listening, putting the client’s needs first, and developing skills and resources to best serve my clients.
A California native, I grew up in Cupertino, CA, and have lived and worked throughout most of the SF Bay Area for the past 40+ years. My first career was as a semiconductor equipment maintenance technician, and eventually, an electrical engineer working in Silicon Valley. Although I always liked "solving the puzzle" during the design process, I always had an interest in real estate. Since the age of 17, working in a photo processing lab and providing Realtors with photo prints for their flyers (before the age of digital!), I was always picking up real estate magazines in supermarkets and dragging my friends and family to open houses. I always loved finding the "hidden gem" or value-priced home for friends and seeing the transition that homes underwent when preparing them for the market.
Working with Buyers
While buying my first home, my agent's office closed without notification. Because this happened while I was in contract, I had to learn the nuts and bolts of real estate transactions quickly to save my purchase! After this experience, I was left disappointed and felt that clients like myself deserved more from their agents. Over the next few years, my experience of having to fight to keep my transaction together, led me to assist people, especially inexperienced first-time home buyers, with tenacity and commitment whenever they needed real estate help. I took pride in finding great investment properties and layering first-time home buyer loan programs to help those with modest means achieve homeownership. As I ventured into luxury properties, I found my more affluent buyers also appreciated that I did not overlook their need to be informed of potential pitfalls or the need to negotiate the best deal for them. People of ALL means benefit from service provided with integrity and skill.
My work as a listing agent has repeatedly given me the benefit of reviewing and comparing offers written by multiple agents. Because I have seen the criteria involved in submitting a winning offer, I understand how to balance protecting my Buyer clients’ rights, with writing an offer that is compelling to the Seller. Even when we do not have the highest dollar amount in our purchase offer, other listing agents will tell me that their Seller clients still wish to select my Buyer clients’ offer because of the skill shown in writing a clean and complete purchase offer and the thoroughness and completeness of my offer packages. Sellers fear falling out of a contract because later offers are not likely to reach the level of offers presented in the first round of purchase offers. A well-written offer is a sign that the transaction will close at the amount offered. Even in competitive markets, many of my clients get their first offers accepted, if they are willing, ready, and able to take my advice.
Working with Sellers
For several years, I worked with investors “flipping”, renovating properties for a quick profit. During this time, I became proficient in maximizing the return on investment by being very selective on pre-sale improvements. As we sold each property, I would often speak with neighboring property owners about their experiences when approached about selling. I found that they seemed to be consistently presented with one of two options: 1) sell “as-Is”, potentially off-market (not advertised) to an investor, because “their home needs too much work and isn’t worth repairing”, or, 2) do extensive pre-sale renovations because “your house won’t sell unless we do a lot of improvements”. ”As-is” sellers, typically the most in need, are frequently preyed upon by investors or agents offering a quick, low fee sale, but looking to purchase properties at 30-50% below the after renovated value. Conversely, when Sellers are guided to renovate, many homes are over-improved, resulting in a loss or “break-even” scenario, because the sellers and/or agent lack the knowledge to determine which items will produce the best return on time and funds invested. I found that most Sellers had not been presented with more than one option, or even a third option of doing a few pre-sale improvements to maximize the amount of sale process in their pockets at the close of the transaction, the best option for most sellers. Because of this gap in the industry, to empower clients, I have facilitated many “owner flips” in entry-level and luxury home markets, so that the highest amount of proceeds could stay with the client instead of with an investor. More recently, this process led to my piloting a program within my office, to provide non-credit/non-income dependent loans to my clients and the option of as-is, partial remodel, or fully remodeled sales. In addition to offering pre-sale options, my marketing skills have allowed me to consistently help property owners sell faster and at higher amounts than owners of similar, neighboring properties offered to the market in the same time frame. I love creating raving fans by empowering my clients to achieve more than they thought possible.
Working with Divorce
Two of my first clients, a divorcing couple, had completed their marital settlement agreement based on assumptions of net proceeds from the sale of their home. Unfortunately, there were no proceeds to be had, as was common during the foreclosure meltdown of 2007-2011. This was to be a short sale and would have a long-term negative effect on their credit. I have found that many divorcing couples make detrimental decisions about spousal support and division of assets. These decisions are often based on the assumptions of the equity available in their house and a lack of information about potential pitfalls in the process. At the time, I had agreed to partner with a more senior agent but found that no one had expertise in working with divorcing couples, let alone with a short sale. Through tenacity and research, reading books and many attorney inquires, I was able to help my clients navigate through this complex sale and move onto the next phase of their life.
Since that time, I am happy to say that I have connected with financial planners, legal professionals, and communication coaches that offered insight on the nuances of divorce and introduced me to advanced level training on the various aspects of divorce and real estate. I have completed significant coursework and accumulated significant experience in this area. Most recently, I have completed the extensive curriculum offered at the Ilumni Institute, thus earning the designation of Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert (CDRE). As a CDRE, I am an educator and resource, trained to handle emotional and legal pitfalls. I work to ensure clients know and are offered their best options concerning divorce real estate. In my work as a CDRE, I work to help my clients best navigate their options in keeping or selling their house during a divorce, with discretion, empathy, neutrality, and skill, so that they are soon free to move on to their next chapter with their best possible outcome. My mission is to minimize, not prolong or add to, the stress of my clients and their advisors. I help you get the best outcome for YOU.
Many attorneys and related professionals working with divorcing clients and high conflict estate and probate settlements may work with various agents, but will often contact me for their most challenging client situations.
Working with Inherited Homes and Probate
Recently, a very good friend and neighbor of my Dad passed away. I was told the family would need to sell the family home, but I hesitated to offer my services for fear of being insensitive to the family’s loss or being labeled an “ambulance chaser”. When I later saw that the son hired a prominent “neighborhood specialist” agent who had worked in the area for over 30 years, I was happy because I thought that the family would at least be well served. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. In a hot market, the house took a very excessive amount of time to sell, sold below the list price, and sold for less than similar recent sales. Because the family had not received the proper guidance in the process, they completed the least effective improvements and had their stress prolonged during the sale process. Sadly, there have been many occasions where I have seen individuals in the most unfortunate of situations end up with inferior service. Because of this, I am now emboldened to reach as many clients as possible.
As with divorce, selling a home after the death of a loved one can be a challenging and emotionally charged situation. This is sometimes heightened due to changing family dynamics and stress during the grieving process, trying to satisfy multiple heirs, paperwork requirements, and facing deferred maintenance, or hoarding situations. As a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES), I have assembled legal, financial, and trade professionals proficient in estate-related services. If a renovation makes sense to do, I offer no-income/no-credit-based financing for most scenarios to allow heirs to receive the highest net proceeds possible. I believe it is my social responsibility to make sure you know your options and have effective, ethical, and empathetic assistance. I want to minimize stress, simplify the selling process, and help you achieve the best outcome possible, especially during difficult life transitions.
Hobbies/Interests [Yes, I'm human 😉 ]
I do love being a Full-Time REALTOR. Still, I try to avoid driving my husband insane by being too one-dimensional; balance in life is important. So, I do have a few hobbies. I love viewing and creating art (mostly painting). I love to garden. However, one year, due to a busy workload, only my cacti survived ☹. Well, at least the plants that didn’t survive made for good compost. Thankfully, I placed everything on a drip system (whew), and have discovered that large glass water bottles make wonderful watering globes. I now have the beginnings of various healthy hibiscus and avocado varieties growing in my yard.
Whenever I get a chance, I like to cook. My husband, Shawn, says that the first time he had my lasagna, he knew that he had to have it for the rest of his life. Yep, lasagna closed the deal! 30 years later, I still make it every year 😉. Speaking of Shawn, he is my rock and keeps me grounded both personally and professionally. When and if I start to get too full of myself, he reminds me to always remember what it was like to be on "the other side of the desk".
Loves of my life...Hubby Shawn and our second rescue dog, Daisy (Border Collie/honorary human in training).
"Solving the puzzle" of a great real estate transaction and facilitating a client's goal is an exciting and rewarding experience. I am passionate about my work as a full-time REALTOR empowering people to overcome perceived challenges and achieve what they may have not thought possible. If you or someone you know has a real estate need, please do not hesitate to contact me. Whether our meeting results in working together in pursuit of a sale or not, I offer no-pressure advice to help you make informed decisions. I look forward to the opportunity to meet, discuss options, and see if perhaps we would be a good match to work together. I am confident that no one will work more effectively to meet your needs. Let's make it an abundant and great day!
Broker Associate / REALTOR
Realty One Group American, CA DRE# 01818076
Divorce (CDRE, REDS, RCS-D), Trust, and Probate (CPRES) Real Estate Certified
Brenda Avilla-Kintz, Broker Associate, CDRE®, CPRES®
Divorce and Probate Real Estate Specialist, SF Bay Area/Silicon Valley
Realty One Group American |DRE: 01818076
Brenda Avilla-Kintz has been a top real estate salesperson since 2007, representing hundreds of clients in buying and selling their family homes. Through this process, she has developed a specific focus on serving clients in conflict and assisting family law and estate attorneys. She has pursued training in collaboration and mediation. She has extensive training in divorce real estate, trust, and probate, and is equipped to support client cases of all conflict levels.
Professional Memberships Held:
NAR National Association of Realtors
CAR California Association of Realtors
SILVAR Silicon Valley Association of Realtors
BayEast Bay East Association of Realtors
IACP International Association of Collaborative Practice
CPSV Collaborative Practice of Silicon Valley
National Association and California Association of Realtors Designations & Certifications:
ABR® Accredited Buyer Representative
BPOR® Broker Price Opinion Resource
CIPS® Certified International Property Specialist
CRS® Certified Residential Specialist*
EPro® Internet Marketing Professional
FTBS® First Time Buyer Specialist
GRI® Graduate Realtor Institute
MRP® Military Relocation Professional
SFR® Short Sale Foreclosure Resource
SRES® Seniors Real Estate Specialist
SRS® Seller Resource Specialist
Divorce and Probate Certifications Held:
CDRE Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert
The Ilumni Institute, Master Course Graduate 2020
● The Anatomy of Divorce
● The Landscape of Divorce Finance
● Introduction to Divorce Court
● The Ethics of Certified Divorce Real Estate Experts
● The Psychology of Neutrality, Bias, and Communication in Conflict
● How to Sell a House in Conflict
● CDRE Fair Market Valuations
REDS Real Estate Divorce Specialist
●Anatomy of a Divorce – by Gregg Greenstein, JD of Frascona, Joiner, Goodman & Greenstein, P.C
● Working with Divorcing Clients by Carol Ann Wilson, CFP, CFDP
RCS-D Real Estate Collaborative Specialist (Divorce)
Training from law professor, Kelly E. Murray, JD, Sum Cum Laude Stanford graduate, to council couples who are considering divorce about pre- and post-divorce options pertaining to real estate and financing. More options are available, and pitfalls can be avoided if advice is given prior to divorce settlement.
CPRES Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist - Training and ongoing support in the area of Inherited property sales, especially those in various stages of Probate.
Interdisciplinary Collaborative Training - Trusts and Estates / CPSV T&E Team (also assisted presenters as a role player/presenter) Nov 2014
Basic Interdisciplinary Collaborative Training – Divorce / SCPG Training Team April 2011
Intensive Mediation Training / Gary Friedman & Catherine O'Connell – Center for Understanding in Conflict Nov 2011
Additional Information Regarding Designations and Certifications:
CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert – Trained to educate home owners that are facing potential foreclosure or who may be having difficulty affording their mortgage about available options, strategies, and consequences of each option. Early discussion is best, as more options are available before payments have been missed.
CRS Certified Residential Specialist - Awarded by the National Association of Realtors and considered by most industry professionals to be the highest Realtor designation that can be achieved by a Realtor. Achieved through demonstrated competency, volume of transactions completed, and advanced course work in residential real estate. Ongoing continuing education is required to maintain his designation.
Agent Doctor Resource Specialist - Certification of commitment to understand and serve the specialized real estate and lending needs of physicians and medical students.
GRI Graduate Realtor Institute - Completion of a year-long program of advanced Realtor course work.
SFR Short Sale Foreclosure Resource - Designation from National Association of Realtors indicating training received in Short Sales and Foreclosures
SRES Senior Real Estate Specialist - Received specialized education to help those 50+ through lifestyle transitions involving relocation, refinancing, or selling the family home. Knowledge in areas including Active adult, Gated 55+ communities, assisted living, Prop 60/90, aging in place, reverse mortgage purchases, etc.
SRS Seller Resource Specialist - Completion of education and proven record of working specifically with assisting property owners through the listing process, resulting in successful sales.
2019 - Present Broker Associate
2007 - Present Full time Realtor serving the SF Bay Area -
(currently with Realty One Group American)
1998 - Present Real Estate Investor
1994 - 2006 Career in electronics tech industry -
(positions held as Equipment Maintenance Technician, and Electrical Engineer)
2018 - Present Contributing instructor for 8-hour home buyer HUD classes for Echo Housing
2015 - 2016 Volunteer for Pro-Tem Collaborative team probate mediations at Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County
2009 - 2015 Contributing instructor for 8-hour home buyer HUD classes for Neighborhood Housing Services of Silicon Valley
2010 - 2011 Volunteer Counselor, City of San Jose Foreclosure Help Center (commendation received from the City of San Jose)
2008 - 2010 Committee member, Santa Clara County Association of Realtors Housing Opportunities Committee